Now that WhatsApp has officially rolled out free voice calls for Android users, what about the rest of us who are using iOS, Windows Phone and other platforms? If you didn’t know already, there are plenty of alternatives for you to choose from, and a quick check to your respective app stores will show a handful of messaging apps that offer free VoIP calls.
Here are a few of the best VoIP apps that you can try out.
How can we leave out Skype, one of the most popular VoIP messaging apps that has been around since 2003? Belonging to Microsoft now, Skype is available in a wide range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry and of course, Windows Phone.
This means that you can easily call your friends for free (data charges apply of course), and unlike WhatsApp, they don’t even need to use an Android phone to receive your calls.
2. Facebook Messenger
I’m pretty sure almost everyone you communicate with online has a Facebook account, so what better free VoIP app to use than Facebook Messenger? Not only can you send messages, you can also call (and receive calls from) any of your contacts on the social network. To make things better, you don’t even have to register your mobile number with Facebook to use the free call feature.
Facebook Messenger with VoIP is also available in most platforms including the web (where you can also do video calls), Android, and iOS. Sadly though, the Facebook Messenger app for Windows Phone and BlackBerry does not have VoIP feature yet.
3. Google Hangouts
I admit, I hardly use Google Hangouts except only with one or two contacts, but it’s a great alternative to use free VoIP calls. Google Hangouts started out as Google Talk with limited features, but recent updates makes it on par with other messenger apps in the market, complete with essential features like voice/video calls, chats with stickers, and more.
Sadly though, VoIP is only available for Google Hangouts on the web, Android and iOS.
Line, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps and possibly the one that made stickers famous. It is filled with many features beyond instant messaging, such as games and even a social network of its own.
If you have many friends using Line, it’s a great platform to stay connected with everyone and enjoy free VoIP calls with them. Line free calls is available for its apps for the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC and Mac devices.
Viber is another popular all-in-one messaging app. On top of messaging text, stickers, sharing files and such, you can also make free calls using mobile data. That’s not all, Viber is also similar to Skype, which allows you to make calls to land lines. Users should note that calls made to land lines are charged at pay-per-use rates, but VoIP calls made to other Viber users are free of charge.
The best part? Viber with free VoIP service is available on a wide number of platforms including desktop, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.
WeChat is known as one of the world’s most powerful apps with hundreds of millions of active subscribers around the world. Granted, the majority of its users are based in WeChat’s homeland, China, but there’s no denying its popularity in other parts of the world, including Malaysia.
This cross-platform messaging app offering free VoIP calls on its Android, iOS and Windows Phone app. In addition, there are plenty more features in the app that make it almost similar to Line, including offering personalities “official” WeChat IDs that let you connect with your favourite celebrities.
7. BBM for All
BBM used to be a messenger app exclusively available for BlackBerry devices only until two years ago. The company finally released its BBM app for other platforms and have been slowly bringing in more features, including free voice calls.
BlackBerry Messenger now supports voice calls for non-BlackBerry devices, which means that you can start making free calls over data to, well, most of your contacts. BBM Voice is available for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone.
Of course, there are plenty more apps that offer free VoIP calls such as Kakao Talk and Tango, but the ones we’ve listed above are the most popular around – and have the highest number of users. On top of that, apps like Google Hangouts and Line comes preloaded in some smartphones out of the box, making it easy to sign up and use them.
Skype and Viber are made popular with the ability to call land lines. Call charges applies of course, but it’s a lot cheaper than usual calls and is popular especially for those calling land lines in other countries. As for Facebook Messenger, most Facebook users should have Facebook Messenger installed on their mobile phone, making it easier for you to reach out to your friends.
Regardless of which app you’re using, all of these apps help users to save on call charges – though the actual qualities of the calls are highly dependent on how strong your Internet connection is.